5-in-1 Pilgrims Rest Adventure

10-12 March 2017

Text: Suellen Prinsloo

Photo's: Charlene Louw

It’s been said that ‘Adventure begins at the end of your comfort zone’, after this weekend I can only hope that I can find my comfort zone again at some point!

After hitting the road to Sabie on Friday we arrived at Misty Mountain to take on the Long Tom Toboggan. The toboggan is a 1.7km long pipeline that runs down from the top of the mountain and twists and turns itself through fields and plantations at speeds of up to 45km/h. Sounds quite tame, but 45km/h never felt this fast! You realise during the briefing that this is going to be an adrenaline rush when you are told, “Don’t brake, and lean hard into the corners!”

Next stop was the Sabie Brewing Company where we were given a tour of the brewery and the low-down on making beer. This was followed by a beer-tasting of the brewery’s beers along with the story of where each beer’s name comes from – all of them have historically significant names. A delicious supper was served – their menu comes highly recommended by all the Babes!

Mac Mac Forest Retreat was our home for the weekend – peace and quiet and a wonderful view. They are perfectly situated between Sabie, Graskop and Pilgrims Rest so were ideal for this adventure. Their tented chalets sleep four people each and have everything you need.

Saturday morning dawned with the promise of more adventure – Geckoing with Kestell Adventures. A Gecko is a white-water tube, oval-shaped to make steering easier, and it has a hard bottom to protect yours. After all the rain in the past few weeks the river was extremely full and the rapids were slightly more intimidating than we expected! Despite the freezing cold water and numerous dunkings this was still a load of fun!

Saturday afternoon was spent in Pilgrim’s Rest. Pilgrims Pantry for lunch (cappuccino’s to die for) and Ponieskrantz Arts and Crafts have the most amazing things! The town is looking wonderful – freshly painted and completely worth a visit. That evening we joined Sharon for a tour of Alanglade House and the cemetery. A beautiful house with such an interesting history. I’m not saying its haunted – but there is something weird about it! Supper was served at The Vine Restaurant in Pilgrims. Oom Johnny is a wonderful, accommodating host, the food was great and the service also brilliant. Johnny’s Pub should be on your list too - worth a visit.

Sunday morning arrived with our biggest challenge yet – the Big Swing and Zipline at Graskop Gorge. The Big Swing website will tell you ‘Experience the adrenaline of a 68m freefall at 180 km/h in under 3 seconds on one of the world’s highest Cable Gorge Swings! Or fly across the gorge on a 135m long High-wire “Foefie Slide”, and witness breath-taking views of the Graskop Falls as never seen before! ‘. Nothing you read or watch will prepare you for this experience – I have an unnatural fear of heights so the convincing took way longer than the swing! One of the best things about being a Bush Babe is being so afraid to challenge yourself but you have a whole group of ladies having complete faith in you and encouraging you every step of the way. This was easily the scariest thing I have ever done, but I am so glad I did it! The fall was terrifying, but the swing itself was wonderful. Something everyone should try!

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